Buffalo Bills announce COVID-19 related absences for Sunday’s game

Geoff Magliocchetti
Nov 24, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a Buffalo Bills helmet on the field prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills CB Josh Norman has tested positive for COVID-19. Three players and an assistant coach will likewise miss Sunday’s game.

The Buffalo Bills announced on Saturday that cornerback Josh Norman has tested positive for COVID-19. Norman will thus not play in Buffalo’s Sunday visit to Glendale against the Arizona Cardinals (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox). Three players who were determined to be in close contact will also be held from the trip, as will defensive assistant coach Leonard Johnson. Among the missing players are CB Levi Wallace, S Dean Marlowe, and TE Tyler Kroft.

Norman was expected to make his return to the Buffalo lineup after missing three games to a hamstring injury. The absence of he and Wallace comes as the Bills (7-2) take on an Arizona team that tops the NFL in total offense (422 yards per game). Buffalo’s three primarily cornerbacks (Norman, Wallace, and Tre’Davious White) have been communally active for only a single game this season. Though listed second in their respective depth chart rows, Kroft and Marlowe have made strong contributions to the Bills’ success. Kroft leads all Buffalo tight ends with 119 receiving yards and is tied for the overall team lead with three touchdown receptions alongside Gabriel Davis and Stefon Diggs. Marlowe is perhaps best known for recovering the crucial fumble that gave the Bills a 24-21 victory over New England two weeks ago.

According to Josina Anderson, Norman took four nasal COVID-19 tests, with half of them being positive/negative. Anderson remarked that Norman “sounded strong” when they spoke.

“It is what it is,” Norman said, per Anderson. “I’m handling it. I’ll be fine.”

In the wake of the absences, Buffalo called up the following members of their practice squad…

LB Darron Lee-Best known as a former first-round pick of the New York Jets, Lee earned a Super Bowl ring through the Kansas City Chiefs’ trek to the title last season. He was signed to the Bills’ practice squad on November 2.

CB Daryl Worley-Worley inked a one-year, $3 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys last offseason, but was released after their slow start and failing to find a trading partner. He earned 14 tackles over seven games in Texas, starting four games.

WR Jake Kumerow-Kumerow was part of the Green Bay Packers’ final training camp cuts in September, but he was signed by the Bills three days after his release to join their practice squad. Kumerow previously partook in last Sunday’s Buffalo win over Seattle, earning 16 snaps.

S Josh Thomas-An undrafted free agent out of Appalachian State, Thomas has played in one game with the Bills thus far, earning a tackle in their 24-21 win over New England in Week 8.

CB Dane Jackson-The Pittsburgh alum was the final pick of the Bills’ draft proceedings in April (239th overall). He earned second-team All-ACC honors last season and forced four fumbles a year prior in his junior campaign. Jackson previously stepped up for an injured Norman against the New York Jets in October and earned his first career interception.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags